PALSAdventures

Adventure Recap: Lake Walcamp

Dear PALS Family & Friends,

We are sad to see the weekend go, but summer is right around the corner and we will all see each other very soon! We would like to tell you all about our amazing weekend at Walcamp in Illinois.

On Friday, we kicked off the weekend by enjoying pizza and getting to know new and old PALS while prepping our voices for karaoke. The night ended with amazing performances at an outdoor amphitheatre!

Saturday, was a day full of fun in the sun. We started off by going to Volcano Falls where we showed off our mini golf skills on the course. After we claimed a champion, we headed into the arcade and left with many fabulous prizes. Once we got back to Walcamp, Campers and Counselors geared up to explore the lake while canoeing and swimming! The night ended with a bang at our luau-themed dance. At the luau everyone was able to drink a refreshing mocktail out of pineapple cups, take polaroid pictures and enjoy a s’more or two once the sun set.

Sunday, began with a competitive round of olympic games. Our blue team and red team faced off with various water and team building games. Safe to say, it was a tie! We had a blast cooling off with water balloons and popsicles after olympics. To end our fun-filled weekend, we shared a BBQ cookout with family and friends. As we said our goodbyes, each Camper received an award and a few kind words from their Counselor.

We cannot thank everyone enough for making this weekend possible! We are so lucky to have had such amazing Volunteers, Campers and families join us at our Walcamp Adventure. Hope to see you all again soon!

PALS Love,

Bre & Nick   

Lake Walcamp Adventure Leaders

Counting Down To Our Lake Walcamp Adventure

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Dear PALS Family,

We are officially 4 days away from our Walcamp Adventure in Kingston, IL! Can you believe it? We cannot wait to share the weekend with our Campers and Counselors. We’ll start our weekend off with a pizza party and get to know our new friends. We will end our Friday night with karaoke in an amazing outdoor amphitheater. Get your singing voices ready!

Saturday will be a jam-packed day full of outdoor activities! First, we are heading to Volcano Falls for arcade games and a round of mini golf. Once we have claimed a mini golf champion, we will head back to Walcamp to canoe around the campsite. We will cap the night off with an outdoor luau-themed dance, so, bring your hula skirts and shirts to show off your moves! Sweets and s’mores will make for a perfect ending to our night of dancing and fun with all of our PALS.

On Sunday morning, we will get decked out in our team colors and compete in the PALS Olympics! Prepare yourself for some serious fun while we race to the finish. We plan to close out our weekend Adventure with a BBQ cookout surrounded by family and friends!

Don’t forget to follow PALS on social media to catch all the Lake Walcamp Adventure excitement.

We cannot wait to see everyone!

PALS Love.

Brianna & Nick

Lake Walcamp Adventure Leaders

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Adventure Recap: Lake Nockamixon

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Dear PALS Family,

We were very sad to see our Lake Nockamixon Adventure come to an end this past weekend. We had a weekend to remember at Lake Nockamixon with an amazing group of 55 Campers and Counselors! As first-time Adventure Leaders, this was a weekend we will never forget. We wanted to say thank you to all of our gracious Counselors, Campers, medical staff, media staff, and CPS Volunteers.

On Friday, we had a pizza party and got to know each other around the bonfire. We capped off the evening by roasting s’mores and singing our hearts out during karaoke. We spent Saturday morning exploring Lake Nockamixon. Everyone was able to get out on the water, whether that was in a kayak, peddle boat, or a rowboat. From there, we headed to a local church to play a variety of life-size games and create a beautiful craft for Mother’s Day! To end the night, we enjoyed an Italian dinner and danced the night away. We were even lucky enough to hear a new original song by one of our wonderful Campers.

Sunday was yet another perfect day as we bowled quite a few strikes at the local bowling alley. We closed out our Adventure with a Mother’s Day lunch. We wanted to thank all of the wonderful volunteers for making this Adventure truly amazing. We were so happy to see our PALS family grow and create many memories along the way.

Much PALS Love,

Jordan and Jackie

Lake Nockamixon Adventure Leaders

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Counting Down To Our Lake Nockamixon Adventure

Hello PALS Family!

We are officially a few days away from one of the best weekends of the year! 26 wonderful pairs will be joining us at the scenic Lake Nockamixon State Park where we will be cooking up some s’mores and enjoying each other’s company by the fire. Prepare your singing voice and bring your dancing shoes for Karaoke and an outdoor dance!

We are so excited to start off our Saturday with lifesize games, which will feature; Jenga, twister, water gun races and many more! This incredible day will continue with a BBQ cookout. We will top it all off with an evening around the bonfire making s’mores and dancing the night away.

We plan to wrap up the Adventure on Sunday with a craft and a special Mother’s Day lunch! Follow PALS to stay updated on all of the activities taking place throughout the weekend. We have been working hard to make this Outdoor Adventure a memorable experience. We will be counting down the days and cannot wait to see everyone this weekend!

PALS Love,

Jordan and Jackie

Lake Nockamixon Adventure Leaders

Adventure Recap: Lake Parvin

Dear PALS Family,

We wish our Lake Parvin Adventure never had to end! All 37 of us had such an incredible weekend in the great outdoors. We started off our weekend with a PALS favorite, karaoke! It was a blast and we thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone sing and dance along by the bonfire. Luckily, the weather held up for us on Saturday, which was perfect for our kickball tournament and carnival. Saturday’s carnival was our big event of the weekend and it did not disappoint! We had a fun-filled day with endless cotton candy, popcorn, pizza, music, carnival games, and of course the bounce house! We finished up our day by watching The Greatest Showman and hanging out with all of our friends.

The fun continued on Sunday when we prepped for yet another PALS favorite, Olympics! We enjoyed watching the teamwork and spirit within all four teams. The Olympics consisted of high-energy relay races, team building activities, “mummifying” a member on each team, and even covering their faces with shaving cream and cheese balls! Following the Olympics, we enjoyed our final lunch together and said goodbye to our PALS.

We wanted to thank everyone who was a part of the Lake Parvin Adventure! Our PALS family expanded and it was wonderful to see familiar faces and get to know new ones. This was easily our most memorable weekend of the year and we are so happy we got to share it with these amazing Campers and Counselors!

Much PALS Love,

Jen and Sam
Lake Parvin Adventure Leaders

Counting Down To Our Lake Parvin Adventure!

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Hello PALS family,

We are officially just over a week away from a fun-filled weekend in the great outdoors! 16 wonderful pairs will be joining us at the beautiful and scenic Lake Parvin where we will be kicking it by campfires and watching late-night movies with friends! Come ready to show off your singing and dancing because we definitely plan on having Karaoke by the fire with s’mores in hand.

We are so excited to start our Saturday off with an epic kickball tournament, followed by a carnival day! We will have traditional carnival games, a bounce house, face painting, a photo booth, and endless amounts of cotton candy. This incredible day will end with more s’mores and an outdoor movie by our awesome cabins.

We will wrap up the Adventure on Sunday with a PALS favorite - OLYMPICS! Get ready for all the relay races you can imagine. Follow facebook.com/palsprograms to stay updated on all the fun events taking place throughout the Adventure. This is a weekend we have been looking forward to for several months now and we cannot believe it is right around the corner! We’re excited to see you there and expand this PALS family even more!

PALS Love,

Jen and Sam

Lake Parvin Adventure Leaders

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Adventure Recap: Monterey Bay

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Dear PALS families and friends,

Our Monterey Bay Adventure came and went way too quickly; time really does fly when you’re having fun. We spent our unforgettable weekend in sunny California with 38 amazing Campers and Counselors! Throughout the weekend we had perfect weather. Thankfully our PALS were there to bring out the sunshine.

We kicked our weekend off with karaoke, a PALS favorite! It was a perfect way to get everyone to break out of their (crab) shells and get excited for the weekend ahead. Saturday was a fun-filled day, starting off at our favorite spot in Monterey, the aquarium! Campers and Counselors enjoyed the interactive learning experience at one of the best aquariums in the country. We saw the camouflage octopus best known in Finding Dory, visited the deep blue sea tank and feeding show, and hung with some amazing animals like the sea otters and penguins. From there we headed over to the black light mini golf and mirror maze, a new addition to the Adventure and quite a hit! We then spent the evening getting fancy for our big night out. Everyone looked so fin-tastic! We finished the night with a Mexican feast and view overlooking the Monterey Bay. 

Sunday was another perfect day as we hit the beach to take in the sunshine, play some games, and dig our toes in the sand. It was nothing but laughs and smiles all around! We finished off our weekend with bowling and pizza, making the most of our time together.

We want to thank everyone who was a part of this Adventure. We loved getting to watch our PALS family grow as our new members soaked up the PALS magic for the first time and our returners got to enjoy their favorite time of year!

PALS Love,

Emily and Ali
Monterey Bay Adventure Leaders

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Counting Down To Our Monterey Bay Adventure!

Hello PALS family,

We are officially one week away from the best weekend of the year! 18 amazing pairs will gather on the “#WestCoastBestCoast” to soak up some California sun with old and new friends. We will sing and dance our hearts out during our Karaoke night to jump start our weekend together! 

We are so excited to be returning to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Saturday. We have developed a wonderful relationship with the fish, sea otters, and sharks and can’t wait to see them again. The fun won’t stop there, because we will be heading straight to a glow in the dark mirror maze and mini golf for a fun-packed afternoon! On Saturday evening we will be getting fancy and enjoying some guacamole while we overlook the sea. 

We will end the weekend on Sunday with some games on the beach, bowling, and much more fun with our PALS. Follow PALS on social media to stay in the loop on this awesome Adventure - this weekend is definitely going to be one we will remember forever! We cannot wait to see everyone there!

PALS Love,

Ali and Emily

Monterey Bay Adventure Leaders

Adventure Recap: Great Wolf Lodge

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Dear PALS families and friends,

It has been almost two weeks since our spectacular Great Wolf Lodge Adventure… and we still haven’t stopped talking about it!

As first time Adventure Leaders, this weekend was one we will never forget. There are not enough words to sufficiently thank our Counselors, Campers, families, medical staff, Great Wolf Lodge staff, and PALS staff for such an unforgettable weekend.

To kick off our epic weekend, we opened the show with PALS Karaoke! As always, Campers wowed us with their incredible singing talents and impressive dance moves. We splashed into Saturday as we headed right to the waterpark after breakfast. Campers and Counselors rode the craziest of water slides, jumped around in the wave pool, and even relaxed with a PALS family lazy river lap. Our fun didn’t end in the water park. Saturday evening we split into groups and rotated between bowling, mini golf, and a craft. Campers and Counselors showed off their artistic talent by creating a Mardi Gras mask of their own to flaunt at the evening dance party! After a delicious dinner, we gathered as a family with sparkling colorful drinks to celebrate in a toast to a fabulous weekend with all of our PALS! Our busy Saturday ended with a Mardi Gras themed party where we paraded our masks and Mardi Gras swag and danced the night away.

While we knew Sunday would come too quickly, we didn’t let that stop us from having fun until the very last second! We started Sunday off with a visit from a Great Wolf Lodge celebrity, Wiley. We then made it in one last time to splash around in the water park. It was tough to leave our PALS Pack but we are so excited to reconnect at other Adventures and Camps!

We want to thank everyone who played a part in making this Adventure happen. Because of you we had an howlin’ good time at Great Wolf Lodge!

PALS Love,

Carly and Shelby

Great Wolf Lodge Adventure Leaders

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Counting Down To Our Great Wolf Lodge Adventure

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Hello PALS Family!

In just 7 days, Great Wolf Lodge is going to experience the magic of PALS Adventures! Great Wolf Lodge is located in Scotrun, PA, a town in the Pocono Mountains. Our PALS family is about to enjoy the incredible winter vacation spot that most only dream of visiting.

Over the course of the weekend, our PALS will spend their time enjoying water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, water obstacle courses, and hot springs all in the dead of winter! Not only will we explore the water park, but we will also get to experience the other amazing facilities Great Wolf Lodge has to offer. We might even have a few celebrity visitors!

While our days will be filled with excitement, our nightlife might just be the icing on the cake. Kicking off our first night of vacation, Campers and Counselors will sing their hearts out at karaoke. Our second night at Great Wolf Lodge will be an unforgettable Mardi Gras-themed party with plenty to celebrate!

Our team has been working hard and counting down the days to one of PALS’ largest Adventures, bringing together 35 pairs. With just a few more days ahead of us, our excitement and anticipation is only growing! We can’t wait to see all of you soon!

PALS Love, 

Shelby & Carly

Great Wolf Lodge Adventure Leaders

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Adventure Recap: PALS Holiday

What better way to end 2017, and ring in 2018 then surrounded by 100 of the most amazing people at PALS Holiday. We had such a great week while we were at the 4H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Despite the cold and snow flurries, you could tell everyone was so excited to be reunited during arrival!

On day two, we bundled up and headed into DC for a tour of the FBI Building. We got to test our skills at finding hidden cameras, learned about the history of the FBI, and even met the FBI’s Comfort Care Dogs. Everyone at the FBI was wonderful, and really enjoyed getting to know PALS. On our way home, we stopped at the National Mall to see the Christmas Tree and soak up the holiday spirit.

Friday morning, we started off with some friendly competition playing Broom Hockey with Talk of the Town. It was so great to watch everyone cheer on their teams, and see everyone’s (friendly) competitive spirit come out. That afternoon, we put a spin on the Congratulations Project. We wrote letters to follow up with families that had received a letter during the past year. We ended our day with an Italian-themed dinner and tested our art skills painting. 

No trip to the DC area would be complete without a little time spent on the Potomac River. We boarded the Spirit of Washington for a lunch and sightseeing cruise. PALS rocked that boat, taking over the dance floor! That may be the most energetic crowd they’ve ever seen on a Saturday morning!

In true PALS fashion, we danced and sang the night away with everyone’s favorite activity, karaoke. Watching each Camper shine on stage is always so memorable. On the last day of 2017, we competed in the first ever PALS Winter Olympics. Campers got to show off their skills in slalom skiing, snowball races, and igloo building. We wrapped up the week with a nice dinner and speeches. Everyone shared their resolutions for 2018 before heading to the Black and Gold New Years Eve Ball.

We kept the party going all night, and live-streamed the Times Square ball drop. Everyone toasted the new year with sparkling cider and hugs all around. PALS Holiday flew by, and was filled with so many laughs, triumphs, and firsts. We couldn’t have asked for a better time together with friends, and are already looking forward to next year!

All our PALS Love,

Kelly and Andrea

PALS Holiday Leaders

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Counting Down To PALS Holiday

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Dashing through the snow… to PALS HOLIDAY we go!

We are officially one week away from the first ever PALS HOLIDAY! We are so excited to take the Nation’s capitol by storm (snow storm maybe?). Our week is going to be filled with fun winter-themed activities as we bring together 40 pairs for the best week of the winter. 

PALS Holiday will offer a whole new experience from our summer Programs. Not only do we get to share in the holiday cheer, but we also get to bring in the New Year together! While we’re in the area, we will spend an afternoon on the water soaking up all that DC sights. We are excited to have access to explore behind the scenes at the FBI Building (cue the secret agent music). In celebration of the holiday festivities, we will take in all the National Mall has to offer and visit the National Christmas Tree. Bundle up and get ready for a super fun, snow melting good time! 

PALS Holiday Love,

Kelly and Andrea

PALS Holiday Leaders

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Adventure Recap: Indianapolis

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to host an adventure with one of my best friends, who I met through PALS. My co-leader for the weekend was Andrea Corliss and I have known her for a year now. Let me tell you how amazing a simple Google search can be and change your life forever.  I started volunteering for PALS 3 years ago. Andrea and I agree it has been one of the most life changing things we have ever done. Attending Chicago and Columbus summer camps, and countless PALS Adventures I decided that I wanted to bring PALS to my home city of Indianapolis.

Andrea and I started brainstorming this Adventure at Camp PALS Columbus over the summer. We knew that we wanted to host an adventure over Halloween weekend since it had never been done before.  Months of planning went by and the weekend of Halloween came and Andrea and I found ourselves in Indianapolis about to lead our first PALS event together!  

Over the Halloween weekend we stayed in a gorgeous Victorian House in downtown Indianapolis. We planned a Halloween costume party, painted pumpkins, made Halloween cookies, attended an Indiana Pacers Basketball Game, had a cookout, and so much more! 

One of the most memorable things that happened over the weekend was when we attended the Pacers game. We bought our basketball tickets from a wonderful gentleman named Steve Minkis. During half-time Steve approached our group and told us that our tickets were upgraded to rows nine and ten! My camper Jack turned to me and ecstatically said, “I’ve never been this close to the court before!” I turned back to him just as ecstatic and said, “Neither have I!” Thanks to Steve and the Pacers, the whole PALS crew had a wonderful first time at an Indiana Pacers game! Time flies when you’re having fun and Sunday came with the sun shining. We had a cookout at the house before everyone departed.

I will never forget this experience as a co-leader with Andrea and I am so thrilled to add another feather in my hat for PALS memories. Luckily along with Scott Gerson, Andrea and I will be directing Camp PALS Chicago in the summer of 2016!

PALS Love,

Chandler and Andrea

Adventure Recap: Charis Stables

Hey PALS families and friends, Taylor Singmaster here… this Labor Day weekend I had the honor of leading the first PALS Adventure of the season with one of my very best friends, Bo Irwin. Charis Stables is a newly opened therapy riding farm in Elverson, PA. It also just happens to be the home of my retired show horse, Bentley.  

I have been an equestrian for about 20 years now and being able to host a PALS event that involved a weekend on the farm and horseback riding felt like putting the two halves of my heart together. When I dreamt this concept up, I knew there was no one I would rather have as a co-leader than Bo! So together with staff member Julia, we made it happen.

12 campers and 12 counselors arrived in Elverson Saturday morning and we got right to the fun. Choice activities included horseback riding, grooming horses and small animals, making and canning applesauce, fishing and crafting “lucky horseshoes”. We ended Saturday with a hayride to Wyebrook Farms, an organic farm and restaurant, where we ate and hung out in the beautiful country side. Nighttime chores followed, where each pair was responsible for some typical farm chore such as feeding the animals or cleaning the stalls. This was an awesome opportunity for our campers and counselors alike to experience what life is really like on a farm, and have ownership over the responsibilities of owning animals.

We met by the bonfire to jam to some music and roast s’mores. An impromptu soccer game broke out in the glow of the fire. I have to admit that bonfire was one of my favorite moments of the weekend – one of those times when you look around and you know that no one is thinking about extra chromosomes or our differences, we were all there as friends, no, family.

We fell asleep that night in our tents under the stars and were awoken the next morning by a rooster crowing. We were up and at our chores before being treated to an incredible homemade breakfast. Choice activities continued before we wrapped up our Adventure with the first ever PALS horse show. Each camper was able to compete in front of their peers and families, showing off not just their new riding skills but also the confidence and smiles they had gained over the short weekend. Each camper and counselor was awarded with a PALS Adventure & Charis Stables Horse Show ribbon as a token of their hard work and a memento of the countless memories made.

Check out more about Charis Stables by visiting: www.charisstables.org

Taylor and Bo